Special Education Needs

Please download our entire 2014/15 Special Educational Needs Policy here

DIA English Language Learners Frequently Asked Questions

What is provisional acceptance?

If we are concerned that the student may not have the required knowledge and skills to meet objectives when entering DIA, or has shown behavioral issues, s/he may be given an offer of Provisional Acceptance. In this case the student will be admitted on a maximum two term provisional basis (only in Terms 1 and 2). During this period the students progress will be monitored. At the end of the provisional period the terms of acceptance will be re-assessed. If it is found that the requirements have not been met this may result in the discharge of the child from DIA.

What is a conditional acceptance?

If, after the initial assessment, it is felt that the student can manage only with extra support and at-home tutoring s/he may be given an offer of Conditional Acceptance. A Conditional Acceptance may also be offered to students who have a history of behavioral issues. Recommendations that are not followed may result in the discharge of the child from DIA.

Should I insist my child speaks English, reads in English and watches TV in English when s/he is at home?

No. It is very important that your child continues to use his/her mother tongue. The student will have plenty of time to improve his/her English during the school day and by doing homework. It is important that your child has sometime to relax from English, and to maintain the level of his/her mother tongue through speaking, reading, writing and listening in that language.

What should I do as a parent/guardian, to support my child in school, if s/he is an English Language Learner?

Being supported and encouraged at home makes a huge difference to all students, but is particularly important for students who face the challenge of learning and socializing through a language that they are not fully comfortable with. Regardless of the student’s age, parents/guardians can help by providing a distraction free area for the student to do his/her homework, taking an interest in the student’s homework, communicating regularly with the class/homeroom teacher or SEN/ELL/Student Services Coordinator, attending Parent Teacher Conferences, and encouraging a positive, confident attitude in the student.

How will DIA support my child in learning English?

DIA offers different types of support, depending on the student’s level. In all situations, the SEN/ELL/Student Services Coordinator will liaise with your child’s teachers, so that they are aware of his/her language levels, and how to support your child in learning. In some situations, your child may receive different work from other students, or materials with simplified English. Depending on your child’s level of English, s/he may attend ELL classes instead of Language and Literature classes, and/or French (or Kiswahili in PYP) class.

How much English must my child speak before starting in DIA?

In PYP students are not expected to know any English, however it is recommended that they do know how to hold a basic conversation if possible. Within the MYP it is encouraged that students are expected to be able to hold a basic conversation in Grades 6 - 8. Students applying to Grade 9 and 10 must be able to meet all grade expectations while learning though English.

Does DIA accept students who don’t speak very good English?

Yes, DIA accepts English Language Learners (ELL) (other schools may refer to ELL as ESL or EFL). However, students who are ELL must have been performing well in their previous school and in the language of instruction they were being taught in.


DIA Special Educational Needs Frequently Asked Questions

Will it negatively affect my child’s chances of admission if I submit a report from an educational psychologist, detailing his/her SEN?

No. If DIA is aware of your child’s SEN from admission, we will be able to support your child’s learning effectively from the first day. If a student applying to DIA does not provide necessary documentation in regards to their SEN and it is later found that behavioral or SEN are present and have been pointed out by other educational institutions or educational professionals, the student may be asked to not stay at DIA.

What is provisional acceptance?

If we are concerned that the student may not have the required knowledge and skills to meet objectives when entering DIA, s/he may be given an offer of Provisional Acceptance. In this case the student will be admitted on a maximum two term provisional basis (only in Terms 1 and 2). During this period it will be assessed whether the child is able to meet objectives of the mainstream curriculum with special assistance and at-home tuition. Regular feedback will be given to the parents/guardians. At the end of the provisional period the terms of acceptance will be re-assessed. If it is found that the requirements have not been met this may result in the discharge of the child from DIA.

Does DIA accept students who have Special Educational Needs, and who are learning English?

DIA considers each and every applicant on an individual basis. DIA can accept students who have SEN and are ELL if they were clearly meeting objectives in their previous school and we believe that they are capable of meeting objectives in DIA.

What is a conditional acceptance?

If, after the initial assessment, it is felt that the student can manage only with extra support and at-home tutoring s/he may be given an offer of Conditional Acceptance. Recommendations that are not followed may result in the discharge of the child from DIA.

Why doesn’t DIA accept students with moderate or severe SEN?

DIA aims to provide the best possible education to all students. However, students with moderate and severe SEN have very different learning needs from other students. They will need more one-to-one support, they will need to follow a different curriculum, and they will need teachers with training and experience in teaching students with moderate/severe SEN. As DIA does not have such appropriate services in place, it would be unethical of us to accept students with these needs.

What should I do as a parent/guardian, to support my child in school, if s/he has SEN?

Being supported and encouraged at home makes a huge difference to all students, whether they have SEN or not. Students with SEN may need extra support and encouragement. Regardless of the student’s age, parents/guardians can help by providing a distraction free area for the student to do his/her homework, taking an interest in the student’s homework, communicating regularly with the class/homeroom teacher or SEN coordinator, attending Parent Teacher Conferences, and encouraging a positive, confident attitude in the student.

How does DIA support students with SEN?

DIA offers different types of support, depending on the child’s strengths and weaknesses. In all situations, the SEN/Student Services Coordinator will liaise with your child’s teachers, so that they can make use of his/her strengths in the classroom to build on his/her weaknesses. In some situations, your child may receive different work from other students. In some situations, your child may receive one-on-one support from the SEN coordinator. Regardless of the short-term goals, your child will be expected to reach their grade objectives by the end of the year.

Does DIA accept students with SEN?

Yes, DIA accepts students with mild SEN. All students must be capable of reaching end of year objectives.

How do I know if my child has SEN?

If your child has SEN, a doctor or an educational psychologist may have assessed him/her and diagnosed him/her. In such a situation, you will have a report, detailing the SEN.

What are Special Educational Needs (SEN)?

Some children need special help in order to learn effectively. They may have a learning difficulty or disability that makes it harder to learn, for example difficulties or a disability in the area of attention (for example ADHD), processing, speech or language, literacy (for example dyslexia or dysgraphia), hearing, or social issues (for example autism, or Aspergers syndrome), although there are many other possibilities.

 

Having SEN does not mean that your child will not succeed in school. SEN can affect people regardless of their IQ.